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If I had a pound for every time I heard this...

"I've always wanted to try yoga, but I'm not flexible enough"


Well... I'd have a lot of money.


Let's bust this myth once and for all. You do not need to be flexible to practice yoga. You will become more flexible if you take up a consistent yoga practice, and you will probably remain inflexible (prone to injury and discomfort) if you admit defeat before you even begin. Perhaps you think yoga is exclusively for bendy people doing poses like this:















But to become this ridiculously bendy, she likely practiced her paschimottanasana like this:














Props and modifications exist to make yoga postures accessible to pretty much anyone. Staying with the example of a seated forward fold, let's take a look at all these various and wonderful options for those of us who cannot literally fold in half:

Using a bolster for a passive forward fold stretch
Using a bolster to 'plug the gap' between legs & torso — credit: nataliekmartin.com


...and every yoga pose will have it's own way of modifying and adapting to make it accessible to your body. A good yoga teacher will offer different options throughout their class, and give guidance if they can see you struggling or straining.


But why strive to be flexible anyway?


I'm not talking about getting into a pretzel shape or being able to do the splits here!


If you want to conquer complex asanas and master the incredible movement our human bodies are capable of, that's great (I know I do!) but those postures have little practical application.


However, generally improved flexibility (as in, touching your toes or getting into a deep squat) has a load of benefits to your physical and mental wellbeing.

  • Living more comfortably in your body; less muscle pain and stiffness - more freedom and ease of movement.

  • Better mobility to assist your day-to-day activities (eg: gardening, cleaning, tying up your shoelaces)

  • Reduced risk of injury caused from overuse of one body part to compensate for tightness in another

  • Improved range of motion, leading to improved performance in other sports

  • Greater sense of wellbeing due to a reduction in aches and pains (and that's before we even consider the soothing effects a yoga practice has on the nervous system)



Sounds blissful, but can't you just do this from stretching? Yes, of course you can. Incorporating consistent stretching into your lifestyle will improve your flexibility. But then you'd be missing out on all the other amazing physical and mental health benefits yoga has to offer. But more on that in another blog.


So next time you feel your perceived lack of flexibility is a barrier to starting a yoga practice - think again. It's cheesy, but it's true; yoga is for everyone.








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